Rory O’ Connor, former High King of Ireland, died in his eighties in peaceful retirement at Cong Abbey (1198). Rory had inadvertently sparked the Norman invasion when he crushed Dermot MacMurragh of Leinster in battle. MacMurragh enlisted Norman support to regain his lands, making Richard Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke his heir as reward. The Normans landed (1169), quickly driving the Vikings from Wexford, Waterford and then Dublin. MacMurragh died, Strongbow inherited, and other Norman lords crowded in on the action. The English king, Henry II, came personally to assert his authority: by the Treaty of Windsor (1175) he effectively divided Ireland between himself and Rory O’ Connor. But as soon as he left Norman barons like Hugh de Lacy and John de Courcy ignored the Treaty. Rory was deposed by his own son, Connor, who managed to defeat De Courcy, before being assassinated (1188), permitting Rory, the great survivor, a few more years of rule before retirement.
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